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By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | September 3, 2013
Anarchists have taken over Center Stage . Not the bomb-throwing kind, but the quip-smacking, horn-honking, non-sequitur-spinning types known as the Marx Brothers. Those indelible siblings - weirdly mustachioed Groucho, fake-Italian Chico, silent Harpo, straight man Zeppo - are being resurrected in an adaptation of "Animal Crackers" that opens the Center Stage season this week. The original "Animal Crackers" was a 1928 Broadway musical that provided a typically nutty stage vehicle for the Marx Brothers and, two years later, an equally nutty film.
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ENTERTAINMENT
Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | April 11, 2014
Vaclav Havel, the late poet, playwright and president (Czechoslovakia's last, the Czech Republic's first), aimed his satirical eye at bureaucracy and corporate-speak in a play called "The Memorandum. " It premiered 49 years ago, way before computers, cellphones, OMG and LOL, but it has hardly lost its relevance. When a character in the play notes that we are "inevitably fragmenting" and becoming "more and more deeply alienated," the description still fits - if anything, more tightly.
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ENTERTAINMENT
By Chris Kaltenbach | December 25, 2009
If only the Baltimore Opera had had Groucho Marx and Margaret Dumont around, maybe we'd still be having arias sung from the stage of the Lyric every few months. Alas, it wasn't meant to be; no rich dowager or rapscallion promoter showed up to bail the opera out at the last minute. But this weekend at the Charles, the Marx Brothers' "A Night at the Opera" will show what could have been. Has there ever been a comedic force to match the combined might of the brothers Marx? Maybe Monty Python in its prime, but there ends the very short list.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | September 14, 2013
Center Stage could easily have chosen a work of great dramatic depth and weight to open its 51st season - some masterwork of the vast American theatrical canon, like, say, Eugene O'Neill's "Strange Interlude" from 1928. But, noooooooo. Instead, the company managed to drag up another piece from the very same year, one that dares mock that O'Neill drama, not to mention all that is sacred about society, art, business, honor and romance. To which theater-goers all over Baltimore should respond with one word: Hooray.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Michael Sragow | michael.sragow@baltsun.com | November 20, 2009
A Marx Brothers revival has long been overdue. Let's hope the Charles' presentation of their masterpiece "Duck Soup" helps kicks one off. It's a good thing that the Charles plays old movies more than once a week. The punning effrontery of Groucho and the dialect comedy of Chico come so fast and mock-furious that even their target audiences in the 1930s had to attend the films several times to catch all the jokes. Each brother of the brothers (except game, banal Zeppo) could also be a sight gag unto himself.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | September 14, 2013
Center Stage could easily have chosen a work of great dramatic depth and weight to open its 51st season - some masterwork of the vast American theatrical canon, like, say, Eugene O'Neill's "Strange Interlude" from 1928. But, noooooooo. Instead, the company managed to drag up another piece from the very same year, one that dares mock that O'Neill drama, not to mention all that is sacred about society, art, business, honor and romance. To which theater-goers all over Baltimore should respond with one word: Hooray.
FEATURES
By Chris Kaltenbach and Chris Kaltenbach,SUN MOVIE CRITIC | August 2, 2002
Duck Soup may be the most timeless, and most prescient, movie comedy ever. Without a doubt, it's one of the funniest. Nowhere is the Marx Brothers' fabled disregard for all things proper better displayed. The four brothers - this is the last film featuring Zeppo, who would soon decide against life as a straight man - were always zany, and their blatant disregard for the conventional ever on display. But alone among their movies, in this send-up of politics, governments and the hapless hypocrites who run them, the Marxian world-view makes perfect sense.
FEATURES
By LAURA LIPPMAN and LAURA LIPPMAN,SUN STAFF | March 30, 1999
Sixty-five years ago today, a man took a hard look in the mirror and walked away from the family business, giving up a job that was providing him with unthinkable riches -- a job that had the potential to make him richer still."
NEWS
September 16, 1999
Harry Crane, 85, co-creator of Jackie Gleason's classic 1950s sitcom "The Honeymooners" and comedy writer for Red Skelton, the Marx Brothers, Bing Crosby and others, died in Beverly Hills, Calif., on Tuesday of cancer.
FEATURES
By Chris Kaltenbach and Chris Kaltenbach,SUN STAFF | July 9, 1996
Me? I'm watching the All-Star Game tonight.If you're not, may I suggest the Marx Brothers at 10 p.m. on The Disney Channel? Or if you're up for an all-day celebration, check out TBS, where they're celebrating Christmas in July with a day full of holiday movies and series episodes."
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | September 3, 2013
Anarchists have taken over Center Stage . Not the bomb-throwing kind, but the quip-smacking, horn-honking, non-sequitur-spinning types known as the Marx Brothers. Those indelible siblings - weirdly mustachioed Groucho, fake-Italian Chico, silent Harpo, straight man Zeppo - are being resurrected in an adaptation of "Animal Crackers" that opens the Center Stage season this week. The original "Animal Crackers" was a 1928 Broadway musical that provided a typically nutty stage vehicle for the Marx Brothers and, two years later, an equally nutty film.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | April 18, 2013
According to an old song, there's a broken heart for every light on Broadway. There's also a lot of humor to be mined from all that disappointment, all those shattered dreams littering the theater industry, where producers scramble for backers, playwrights dream way too big, and aspiring actors will leap at any opportunity. Whether “Room Service,” the 1937 farce by John Murray and Allen Boretz, is the best comedy to be inspired by this volatile milieu can be debated. The work, which has been given a welcome, if spotty, revival by Vagabond Players, certainly creaks in places.
BUSINESS
By Lorraine Mirabella, The Baltimore Sun | September 28, 2010
The historic Congress Hotel on Baltimore's west side, built in 1905 as one of the grande dames of city hotels and converted to housing nearly a decade ago, sold at a foreclosure auction Tuesday for $2.35 million. The renovated 36-unit apartment building was bought back by its lender, Congress Financial LLC. That entity is made up of "investors with significant local ties," said Y. Jeffrey Spatz, an attorney representing the winning bidder at the auction outside the Clarence M. Mitchell Jr. Courthouse.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Chris Kaltenbach | December 25, 2009
If only the Baltimore Opera had had Groucho Marx and Margaret Dumont around, maybe we'd still be having arias sung from the stage of the Lyric every few months. Alas, it wasn't meant to be; no rich dowager or rapscallion promoter showed up to bail the opera out at the last minute. But this weekend at the Charles, the Marx Brothers' "A Night at the Opera" will show what could have been. Has there ever been a comedic force to match the combined might of the brothers Marx? Maybe Monty Python in its prime, but there ends the very short list.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Michael Sragow | michael.sragow@baltsun.com | November 20, 2009
A Marx Brothers revival has long been overdue. Let's hope the Charles' presentation of their masterpiece "Duck Soup" helps kicks one off. It's a good thing that the Charles plays old movies more than once a week. The punning effrontery of Groucho and the dialect comedy of Chico come so fast and mock-furious that even their target audiences in the 1930s had to attend the films several times to catch all the jokes. Each brother of the brothers (except game, banal Zeppo) could also be a sight gag unto himself.
FEATURES
By Chris Kaltenbach | November 23, 2007
A 5-year-old boy revealing the little-known connection between superheroes and the Hollywood writer's strike. A 94-year-old writer, with a resume dating back to the Marx Brothers, explaining why he supports his union. And a look at what the cinematic world would be like if professional writers weren't around to create it. Hollywood's writers might be on strike, but that hasn't stopped their creative juices from flowing. True, their efforts aren't being channeled into episodic television or movie scripts.
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